MENTOR NEWS UPDATE
This Week in the Mentor Program
Monthly Mentor Support Meeting/Training -- Wednesday, Sept. 21, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Please RSVP to Lauren at Lporter@cc-md.org if you have not already done so. Both trainings are at St. Vincent's Villa, 2600 Pot Spring Road, Timonium, MD 21093
Mentor Message Plus Matches Galore!
September is a month of new beginnings -- a new school year begins and for the Therapeutic Mentoring Program we have 10 new matches ready to launch! Our population of youth are referred because they have special emotional and behavioral needs. We know, from the beginning of any match, there will be tough moments, but the hard work on your part will make success all the more precious. As you move through the early months of a match remember to "trust the process". Below are some great tips for both new and seasoned mentors.
1. First, just by spending time with the child, meaning being physically present each week, you are providing non-verbal affirmation and role-modeling. The way you speak, your manners, your eye contact and smiles, your calmness, and your gift of time, all have great power. Time spent equals trust being built.
2. Relax and “go with the flow”. This might seem counter-intuitive, but the details aren’t as important as the big picture. Replaying conversations in your mind and over analyzing after a visit may distract you from the big issue, which is how does your mentee feel while in your presence. Safe? Cared for? Listened to? Important? Special? What craft you did, or book you read are important, of course, but it’s the BIG picture that counts the most. Don’t fret or stress too much over the details.
3. Be patient. (I know you all are very patient!). The child might not be used to one-to-one attention and may seem a little shut down, which can be self-protective. The child will gradually begin to feel more comfortable spending time with you. Change will happen in spite of these initial worries.
4. Be realistic. Get to know your mentee’s needs and treatment goals. What’s realistic for this child? This may be the best she/he can do. What might seem like not so much progress on the surface might be a BIG change for this child. Exploring something new in the community with an adult and feeling safe could be huge for this child.
5. Keep coming back. Don’t get discouraged. Change happens slowly over time. Especially, if there are trust or attachment issues on the child’s part. These things can only be changed through experience (not promises) and are played out week after week. It takes a while to build enough positive experiences to over-ride negative experiences and hurt. And to build trust.
We thank each and every one of you for all that you do. You are helping to change the world, one child at a time. And that is HUGE.
Yours in Mentoring, Lauren
Last month, the mentor program offered an Attunement Challenge. Everyone was invited to submit an example of using this specific ARC strategy for a random drawing to win a $25 gift certificate to Outback Steakhouse. Kathy Murphy was the lucky winner. She is matched with a 12 year-old girl in the Residence at St. Vincent's Villa. Congratulations Kathy!
Special Thank You
Going to the fair is a great end to summer, and a generous contribution from mentor Lauren Shank made that possible. The entire Therese Unit at the Residential Treatment Center plus several mentor/mentee matches were able to attend the Maryland State Fair, enjoy some rides, grab a bite, and see the animals with Lauren's donation of tickets. Thank YOU!
Veranice Williams and her mentee participated in a group mentoring activity held on Sunday, September 18th at the YMCA. Youth rotated through various sports stations led by students from Morgan State University. The day concluded with college athletes fielding questions from the youth. Everyone received prizes and Veranice and her mentee now have two tickets for an upcoming football game at Morgan State. Go Bears!!
Special Thank You
Assets Message -- The Empowerment Domain
Research shows that the more young people are valued and feel valuable, the more likely they are to grow up healthy and avoid risky behaviors, such as alcohol and other drug use, violence, and early sexual activity. Search Institute has identified four assets in the Empowerment Domain crucial for helping young people grow up healthy: Community Values Youth, Youth as Resources, Service to Others, and Safety. Mentors are in a unique position to strengthen these four assets. The very fact that you keep coming back is huge for your mentee and demonstrates how you value him/her (Asset # 7). Next, listen to your mentee's ideas and promote choices which builds confidence and helps your mentee feel useful (Asset #8). Thirdly, consider doing a volunteer service project with your mentee which provides a sense of social connectedness to others plus a positive feeling from helping others (Asset #9). Lastly, your consistent presence at role modeling a positive and healthy relationship increases a sense of safety in the world for your mentee (Asset #10). Perhaps, this quote sums up best the meaning of empowerment. Benjamin Disraeli says, "The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own."
Question of the Month
SAVE THE DATES
Special Guest: Mindy Leifer, Senior Therapist
Pre-Service Orientation -- Thursday, November 10th, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Presented by the Volunteer Services Team for all new Mentor, Volunteers, and Interns
November Mentor Meeting/Support Group -- Monday, November 21, 6 PM to 7:30 PM
Special Guest: Christopher Donaldson, Spiritual Development Coordinator
All above events will be held at St. Vincent's Villa, 2600 Pot Spring Road, Timonium, Maryland 21093